Every parent tries hard to motivate their kids to study. When it came to college education, Duvinson Jeanty, now 63, chose to lead by example.
Duvinson Jeanty came to America from Haiti in 1983; he earned a living working as a bus driver. In 2007 Duvinson enrolled at William Paterson University in New Jersey to fulfill his lifelong dream of receiving a bachelor’s degree. Having had to work a full-time job and take care of his mother, Duvinson could only take one class at a time.
In 2008 Duvinson’s son, Benjamin Jeanty, entered Rutgers University, but dropped out of it a year later to start working full-time at Smashburger.
Although in his own words, Benjamin ‘started making good money’, eventually his father’s aspiration for higher education made him reconsider his decision to leave university. So, in 2011 he enrolled at William Paterson University to be as close to his dad as possible.
Pathways to diplomas were not easy: Benjamin also worked at a special needs school and his father still drove a bus. In 2015 Duvinson Jeanty retired and was finally able to fully concentrate on studying.
In the end, both the father and son graduated from William Paterson on Friday, May 19, 2017. Duvinson got a bachelor’s degree in finance and plans to run his own real estate company. Benjamin gained a degree in psychology; he is going to work full-time at the special needs school.
Benjamin says that his father taught him several important lessons. First, Duvinson helped his son understand that ‘we should always look to better ourselves’.
Second, Benjamin continuously drew inspiration from seeing his father studying late at night.
Third, it was his father who prompted Benjamin to start asking himself questions like ‘How am I serving the community? How am I helping others?’
We wish Duvinson and Benjamin the best of luck and hope that one day we hear from them again.